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Like a painting by Mark Rothko, whose canvasses contain rectangular fields of color and light that convey more than a visual experience, the music of Rob Mazurek's Exploding Star Electro Acoustic Orchestra transcends a mere audio happening. Rothko's paintings exceeded the aesthetic confines of their canvasses into a spiritual and psychological realm. Likewise, Mazurek makes visually appealing music.
Mazurek's cornet is only part of this phenomenon. On The Space Between he wrote the music and text, provided the cover painting, and the electronics. His music grows beyond the sonic here too with a video and choreographed dance by Marianne M. Kim that is included as a second DVD disc in Dolby 5.1.
From his early bebop days, he has increasingly favored a more abstract electro-acoustic sound. After the Chicago Underground Trio and duo recordings he made the abstract sound/noise Sweet and Vicious Like Frankenstein (Mego, 2004) and created a musical and visual installation for a French Abbey documented on Abstractions On Robert D'Arbrissel Adluna, 2008). His art has been increasingly divided between painting, installations, and sound.
The Space Between features Mauricio Takara and Guilherme Granado from Mazurek's Brazilian band São Paulo Underground, flutist Nicole Mitchell, Matt Bauder, and Tortoise's John Herndon. The score filters part electric-Miles Davis with spacey electronics that occupy more spatially than audibly. His Twilight Zone approach mixing spoken word with bits of flute and electric wiring flows increasingly more dense, but with an open resolution. The eight part piece plays nonstop; the listener is required to ascertain the space between.
Track Listing: Vortex, Pts. 1-5; We Are All One With The Moon And Planets; The Shifting Sequence; Illumination Drone 17; Space Between; Seven Blues; Indra’s Net.
Personnel: Rob Mazurek: electro acoustic composition, written scores, hidden scores, video scores, painting, cornet, main electronics, text; Marianne M. Kim: video, choreography, dance; Todd Carter: live sound recording, sonic manipulation, recording and mixing engineer; Damon Locks: vocals, electronics, text; Nicole Mitchell: flute; Matt Bauder: electronics; Jeff Kowalkowski: piano, electric piano; Carrie Biolo: percussion; Mauricio Takara: electric cavaquinho; Guilherme Granado: sampler; John Herndon: drums.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.